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Commercial Roof Restoration vs. Replacement: Making an Informed Choice

Posted on September 30, 2023

Commercial Roof Restoration vs. Replacement: Making an Informed Choice

Roofs are made to offer robust protection and necessary comfort. To make sure the roof of your building functions efficiently throughout its lifetime, you must make the right decisions regarding its repair and restoration requirements. As a roof gets older and faces fierce weather conditions over time, the question arises: should you restore or replace your commercial roof? Being a commercial roofing expert, I’m here to help you navigate both approaches. 

Let’s find out if it’s time to repair your roof or replace it with a new one.

Understanding Commercial Roof Restoration vs. Replacement

Commercial roof restoration includes the repair, refurbishment, and enhancement of an existing commercial roof to extend its lifespan and improve its performance. It typically includes cleaning, repairing damaged areas, applying coatings or sealants, reinforcing seams, and addressing other issues to restore the roof’s functionality and durability. The goal is to bring the roof back to a near-original condition, providing cost-effective solutions to prolong its life and postpone the need for a complete roof replacement.

On the other hand, a roof replacement involves removing the existing roof entirely and installing a completely new roofing system. This process often includes stripping off the old roofing materials, addressing any underlying structural issues, and then installing new roofing materials from the deck up. A roof replacement is a more extensive and expensive undertaking compared to restoration.

How Commercial Roof Restorations Can Help You

Roof restorations offer several benefits for building owners and property managers. Here are five significant advantages of opting for a roof restoration:

#1 Cost-Effective

Restoring a commercial roof can be a cost-effective solution compared to a full roof replacement. It typically costs significantly less because it involves repairing and refurbishing the existing roof structure rather than completely tearing off and replacing it. With a restoration, you’ll save on both material and labor costs.

#2 Prolongs The Roof’s Lifespan

A properly executed roof restoration can significantly extend the lifespan of the existing roof. By addressing any damage, reinforcing weak areas, and applying protective coatings, the roof is given a new lease on life. This prolongs the need for an expensive roof replacement and allows the roof to provide more years of protection from the existing structure. 

Many roof restoration processes involve the application of reflective coatings or cool roof technology. These coatings reflect a significant portion of the sun’s heat and ultraviolet (UV) rays, reducing the amount of heat absorbed by the roof. This, in turn, helps maintain a cooler building interior, reducing the load on HVAC systems and lowering energy costs.

#3 Seals and Protects Against Leaks

Roof restoration often includes repairing leaks, sealing seams, and addressing any points of water infiltration. The application of coatings forms a seamless, watertight barrier that prevents leaks and protects the roof from further water damage. This is crucial in maintaining a dry and safe interior environment.

#4 Enhances Roof Performance and Appearance

Roof restoration involves more than just repairs, it includes enhancing the roof’s overall performance and appearance. Coatings applied during restoration can improve resistance to weathering, chemicals, and environmental pollutants. Additionally, a restored roof can look more aesthetically appealing, improving the overall appearance of the building.

#5 Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly

Commercial roof restoration is a sustainable option as it utilizes the existing roof structure, minimizing waste that would occur during a complete roof replacement. By extending the life of the roof and reducing the demand for new materials, this project will contribute to a more sustainable approach to building maintenance and construction.

When Should You Restore a Commercial Roof? 

Restoration isn’t a random choice, it’s a strategic one based on the condition of your commercial roof. Here are the signs pointing to restoration:

Minor Leaks and Water Damage

The occasional drip-drop of water might seem harmless, but it’s a warning sign. Minor leaks could indicate deteriorating seams, flashing, or roofing material. Swift restoration can patch up these leaks before they escalate into more extensive forms of water damage, potentially saving your structure and its contents.

Surface Cracks and Peeling Paint

Surface Cracks

Just like our skin shows wrinkles and blemishes with age, roofs, also, show signs of aging. Surface cracks and peeling paint suggest weathering and may expose your roof to further degradation. Restoration steps in to repair these imperfections, creating a protective barrier against the elements.

Ponding Water

Ponding Water

If your roof resembles a mini lake after rain, it’s experiencing ponding water. This usually stems from improper drainage, and it can lead to structural issues and mold growth. Restoration focuses on addressing drainage problems and leveling the roof to prevent future ponding.

Blistering or Bubbling 

Blistering or Bubbling 

Extreme weather conditions can cause your roof’s membrane to blister or bubble. This weakens the roof’s integrity and can lead to more significant issues if ignored. Restoration tackles these blisters, reinforcing the roof and ensuring it can continue its job of protecting your business.

General Wear and Tear

Roofs face constant battles against the weather. General wear and tear over the years is expected. Restoration steps in to revitalize the roof’s performance, providing a fresh protective layer and addressing any worn-out components.

Faded or Discolored Roofing

Just as we freshen up our homes with a new coat of paint, roofs benefit from a similar change. If the surface looks faded or discolored, restoring your commercial roof with suitable paint or roof coating can breathe new life into its appearance. 

Understanding Roof Replacements

Unlike a commercial roof restoration, a complete roof replacement involves thoroughly inspecting the roof to assess its condition. The old roofing material is then stripped off the roof, including all damaged components, down to the roof deck. If the roof deck or remaining structural components are damaged they will be repaired or replaced for a solid foundation. New roofing materials, insulation, vapor barriers, and other necessary components are then installed. The new roofing system is sealed and finished with details like flashing and gutters to ensure functionality and waterproofing. Overall, this process results in a new roof, improving performance, longevity, and property value.

How Commercial Roof Replacement Can Benefit You

Here are the ways a roof replacement can help you save more money and headaches over the years:

Enhanced Performance and Functionality

A new roofing system can significantly improve the performance of your commercial roof. Modern roofing technology and advanced materials offer better weather resistance, energy efficiency, and durability, providing better protection against leaks, UV radiation, and extreme weather conditions.

Long-Term Savings

While the initial cost of a full roof replacement is more expensive than a restoration, it is an investment that pays off in the long run. The durability and performance of a new roof reduce the need for frequent repairs and maintenance, ultimately saving you money on ongoing operational expenses.

Improved Property Value and Aesthetics

A new roof enhances the overall appearance of the building, contributing to better curb appeal and potentially increasing the property’s value. It gives your building a fresh, modern look, which can be appealing to tenants, clients, and visitors.

Compliance with Current Building Codes and Standards

Unlike commercial roof restoration, a full roof replacement will allow you to update your roofing system to meet the latest building codes and industry standards. This ensures that your roof is in compliance with regulations and reduces the risk of potential penalties or legal issues.

Warranties and Guarantees

Most new roofing systems come with warranties, providing peace of mind and protection against manufacturing defects or installation errors. These warranties often cover materials and workmanship, offering added assurance of the roof’s quality and reliability.

Also Read Your Guide to Commercial Roof Replacement: Avoid Costly Mistakes!

When Does a Commercial Roof Need to be Replaced?

While a commercial roof restoration can be a cost-effective solution for many issues, there are instances where a replacement is a more suitable choice.

Extensive Structural Damage

If the structural integrity of the roof is severely compromised due to age, extreme weather, or other factors, a new roof is the safest and most effective solution.

Beyond the Expected Lifespan

Every type of roofing material has a lifespan. If your commercial roof has exceeded its expected lifespan, replacement is often the prudent choice to ensure optimal protection and performance.

Recurrent Problems

When your roof experiences frequent problems like leaks, mold growth, or insulation issues, addressing these individually with restoration may not provide a long-term solution. A new roof can eliminate recurring problems altogether.

Energy Inefficiency

Older roofs may lack modern energy-efficient features. A roof replacement with updated materials and insulation can significantly improve energy efficiency, leading to long-term savings.

Roofing Material Incompatibility

If the needs of your commercial property have changed and your current roofing material is no longer suitable, replacing it with a compatible material is essential for effective protection.

Sagging Areas or Structural Compromises

A sagging roof implies structural problems. If you notice sagging areas or structural compromises, immediate attention and restoration are crucial. It’s like fixing a bent backbone to ensure your building stands tall and strong.

Preparation for Property Upgrades

If you’re planning significant renovations or expansions to your commercial property, a new roof might be necessary to accommodate these changes and ensure structural integrity.

Overall, the decision to replace or restore your commercial roof depends on its condition. Restoration is cost-effective and eco-friendly, addressing issues like leaks and wear. Replacement offers enhanced performance and compliance with standards, ideal for severe damage or an aging roof.

Remember, the right way to get started is by consulting with reliable commercial roofing contractors and choosing the best one according to their expertise and experience.

Discuss Your Commercial Roofing Needs With Our Experts in Metro Detroit

At Paramount Roofing, we’re proud to be among the most reliable and experienced commercial roofing contractors. Our talented and friendly team of experts is here to inspect your roof thoroughly and recommend the best way to proceed. So, if you need a roof replacement or commercial roof restoration services in Metro Detroit, call us at (586) 571-9007. Let us help you get a durable, safe, and cost-effective roof.